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Russia urged to be 'cautious' over smuggling crackdown
Updated: 2009-07-18 12:01

China urged Russia Friday to be "cautious" in the case of 150 Chinese businessmen seized in a crackdown at a market in Moscow.

About 150 Chinese businessmen and a large amount of their goods were seized by Russia's Federal Migration Service in raids at the Cherkizovsky Market this month, in the east of the Russian capital of Moscow.

China is "gravely concerned" and urges Russia to protect the legal rights of Chinese companies and businessmen, especially their safety and property, said Yao Jian, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce in a statement on its website.

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China gives full support to Russia's crackdown on smuggling, and hopes Russian authorities and the city government of Moscow not "overreact", he said.

The case should be handled in a friendly and gradual way, and China will continue to closely follow its latest development, said Yao.

The Cherkizovsky Market is the biggest wholesale market in Moscow, and a great number of its businessmen are from China, Vietnam and central Asia. It had been shut down temporarily from June 29 by the city government for smuggling crackdown and safety reasons.

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